WEST LAFAYETTE – Researchers at Purdue University have created an ultrasensitive biosensor that could open up new opportunities for early detection of cancer and personalized medicine tailored to the specific biochemistry of individual patients.
The device, which could be several hundred times more sensitive than other biosensors, combines the attributes of two different types of sensors, said Muhammad A. Alam, a professor of electrical and computer engineering.
“Individually, both of these types of biosensors have limited sensitivity, but when you combine the two, you get something that is better than either,” said Alam.
The device, called a Flexure-FETY biosensor – combines a mechanical sensor, which identifies a biomolecule based on its mass or size, with an electrical sensor that identifies molecules based on their electrical charge. The new sensor detects both charged and uncharged biomolecules, allowing a broader range of applications than either type of sensor alone.